So it looked a mountain to climb at Old Trafford and even the introduction of Tom Lawrence, who has been more patient than most with 16 substitute appearances this term, still did not truly represent an out-and-out striker joining the fray. Nonetheless, Adnan Januzaj was endeavouring to make things happen in a lone forward's role. It's fair to say the 18-year-old, on the bench at West Brom last weekend, will not be pushing for Robin van Persie's place if all goes to plan and he does compete for a first-team slot but his willingness to adapt to the position bodes well for his future.
Once accomplished right-back Marnick Vermijl had fired home on the hour mark, the mood of the occasion changed. Suddenly, the comeback was on and Larnell Cole, soon after being denied what looked a clear penalty, rammed home after a fine break involving Januzaj and Jesse Lingard. Cole made it six goals in four games at the famous stadium this term when bagging the winner with two minutes left and nobody should have been surprised. This was a performance drawing on the very fabric of Manchester United and forged on the principle that the club is never beaten.
The fans present will have enjoyed a scintillating encounter and a great advertisement for youth football in this country. David Moyes has already gone on record as insisting he will carry on the strong traditions of promoting youngsters and many Reds followers will do well to remember this when the new manager is inevitably linked with hundreds of players from around the globe during the transfer window. There is a real depth of talent already at his disposal with a winning mentality to rival the first team's.
As for coach Joyce, somebody who openly does not put too much stock in winning games at this level, the irony is that he's really rather good at it. With the Manchester Senior Cup staying at Old Trafford and the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup to come in August against neighbours City, it has been another terrific campaign for the coach and his promising group of players.